IELTS Speaking Part 1, 2 and 3 - Newspaper


IELTS Speaking Part 1, 2 and 3 - Newspaper


IELTS Speaking Part 1 - Talking about Familiar Topics

Reading Newspaper

How often do you read newspaper?

I read newspaper almost everyday. The newspaper is provided by a coffee shop that I frequently visit, and customers can read it for free. However, since the pandemic hit the country, I can no longer go to the coffee shop and cannot read the printed newspaper anymore. So now, I read online news instead.


Do you prefer reading online news or printed newspaper?

I used to read printed newspaper a lot because it sort of became a habit, and I am the kind of person who always sticks to a routine, especially in the morning. But now, online news has become a new normal for me. Luckily, the paid subscription of some online news platforms has been waived during pandemic. There are also some online news platforms that we can access for free. Other than reading online news, I also watch documentaries on youtube and watch news on TV.


What kind of news do you usually read?

I read various news on newspaper, from economy to politics, from local news to international news, from a car accident that happened in my city to a political turmoil that's happening in a foreign country. I skip sport and entertainment news on occasion, but I still read news about the recent sporting events or recent movie release when I feel like doing it. I rarely read news about celebrities, if not at all.


How do people in your country get their news?

Pretty much the same way I get my news, I suppose. One thing that may be quite different is that there are more and more people getting news on social media these days. Mainstream media have social media channel and they often broadcast news there. There has been a growing number of citizen journalism too, meaning that some of the news that appears on social media is written by ordinary people like me. The news does not always appear in textual form though, because we can also find video footage, or photos explaining an event that took place somewhere and was documented by someone who happened to be nearby. I don't use social media very often, so I rarely get my news from there.


Do the people get their news the same way as they did in the past?

No, they don't. In the past, people get their news mainly from television. It was the most convenient way to get the latest news because there wasn't much effort required to understand what the anchor said whereas reading a newspaper would require a lot more energy and focus. People liked to just sit down and relaxed while listening to the news. Now, there is a wide range of information sources, from printed newspaper to online news, from television broadcast to online podcast. People also put much more effort to get the latest news these days. As the household income is rising due to better economic condition, people are willing to spend some money on paid subscription or buy a data plan to access online news. In the past, people would rather spend their money on food, housing or other primary needs.


How does news affect the society in general?

People now become more critical and outspoken because they have access to information and become more well-informed. In the past, not so many people in my country understood how government's policy could affect them, so they just went along and wasn't really aware of what's going on. Even if they had something to say, people wouldn't dare saying it because we were ruled by an authoritarian government. People who were brave enough to express criticism would either be dead or missing. There was no free press nor free speech until the authoritarian government was overthrown by the people in 1998, which marked the end of the New Order regime. Nowadays, government's policy is watched closely by the people and the media. Media has become an effective means of communication for the government, but it can also be people's way of questioning their decision and criticizing them openly. Free press also benefits the nation economically, I guess. Investors wouldn't take a risk investing their money in a country with no good governance, ease of doing business and transparency. They wouldn't be willing to deal with the inept and corrupt government either, which was the reason why the country was impoverished in the first place. With media transparency, the country can gain more trust and thrive.


IELTS Speaking Part 2 - Self-Presentation

Latest News

Describe the latest news that you read

You should say:

What is it about?

Where do you read the news?

Why is the news important to you?

Explain why you find it interesting


What is it about?

Recently, I read a lot of news about natural disaster that happens in my country, ranging from torrential flood to landslide. The government has warned the people about the extreme weather that currently hits the country and that it may cause disasters. 


Where do you read the news?

I read this news mostly on digital platform. Besides online articles, there are also video footage of people losing their home because of the disaster. There is a video footage of people asking for help because they were trapped in the middle of a flood.  


Why is the news important to you?

The news becomes very important to me because I realize that the disaster can bring destruction and misery. There may be some casualties, which is the worst case scenario that we can think of. Victims are suffering from hunger and illness. We haven't been able to deal with covid19 and the economic downfall resulted from the recent virus outbreak, and the disaster will make it even more difficult for the people to recover from the devastating impact of the global pandemic. The disaster will also make it hard for the authority to curb the spread of the virus because people may lose their homes to the disaster and will have to live in a shelter. If there is no enough shelter, then people will live in cramped tents, which is not a good idea during the pandemic. This is just my concern, but I'm really hoping that it's not going to be that bad


Explain why you find it interesting

I follow the news regarding the bad weather and disaster because it is extremely alarming with pandemic still ravaging the country. There was a huge earthquake in the eastern part of the country in 2018, and people tried to help by donating money, food, or clothes. I didn't have much money to help, but I could still be a blood donor back then. Now that we have a pandemic, donation and blood donor become extremely difficult because there will be a strict health protocols that have to be followed. Some people also have financial difficulties so they may not be able to give much to help. I don't know if this is actually the case, but I'm really worried about the current situation, which is why I always follow the updates on the recent natural disaster.


IELTS Speaking Part 3 - Discussion

News

Do people in your country always follow the latest news?

Yes they do, especially when the news concerns an event that will directly affect them or their livelihood. For example, many people always try to get the most recent updates on covid19 pandemic, paying attention to the fatality and infection rate in their region, and following the latest update on the  policies taken by the government because they will have to adhere to it. Social media makes it possible for the people to find the most trending news through hashtags, like the ones that we can find on twitter. Youtube has recommended videos, which works pretty much like headlines in newspaper.


What do you think of showbiz and entertainment news?

Sometimes they can be informative and entertaining. I often follow updates on a new movie release or the launching of a new album by talented musicians. However, entertainment news can also be extremely annoying at times. Sometimes it covers a domestic conflict of a celebrity, which has nothing to do with the interest of the public. The media coverage is often used by celebrities to gain fame and is full of sensational made-up stories which no one actually cares about. I personally think that there should be a clear difference between personal domain and public domain.


Do you think news can be misleading sometimes?

Yes, it can. There are a lot of fake news on social media, and this is extremely dangerous because it can lead to confusion, distrust or even actual conflict. News that appears on mainstream media can also cause paranoia during a stressful moment like global pandemic, even though the news is actually legit. For example, there was a lot of bad news concerning covid19 pandemic, which made people become extremely paranoid. People started stockpiling stuff from the store, which led to shortages. Luckily, the government was able to assure the people that panic buying was unnecessary at this point, and that some products would spoil if kept for too long.


Which do you think is more important? Local news or international news?

Both of them are important, but I myself always prioritize the local news. We have to be aware of what's happening around us, so that we can take precautions, make the right decision, and take actions. International news is also important because things that happen in other countries can have a snowball effect. For example, the covid19 outbreak started from one country and managed to spread to other countries, disrupting global supply chain and in turn, also affect my country in some ways. For instance, factories find it extremely difficult to manufacture their product because certain parts have to be imported from other countries.


Do you think government has the right to censor the press?

No, they don't, at least in a democratic country. Free press is one of the most important components of democracy, and becomes a tool for the people to express their thought freely. In some cases, people can even express dissent or distrust toward the authority, and this is actually an important feedback that enables government to evaluate their works. However, some people manage to control media for their personal interest or political agenda. I'm not saying that all media is full of vested-interest, because there are still some media that are independent and trustworthy. I have to point out the fact that certain media corporation actually has an affiliation to a political party, making it hard for them to become neutral, leave alone being reliable.


What do you think of the fact that in some countries, news is highly controlled by the government?

In a democratic country, government should not have absolute control over the media, although it becomes a common practice in certain countries with authoritarian regime. As for my country, I can say that people have better access to information these days. In the past, there was no technology that enabled them to get the latest news, so people relied heavily on media run by the government. There was only one national television channel, and only few people actually had television set. 

The fact that news was handled by the government was not entirely bad considering the political instability of that era. The world was in the middle of the cold war, and the country was forced to take sides, whether it wanted to align to communism or western liberalism. Even the slightest misunderstanding among different factions in the volatile society could ignite a nationwide conflict. The national TV somehow made it possible for the authority to give a linear information and minimalize conflicting interests, which is not entirely bad. The problem emerged when media became a tool for government's propaganda. Instead of serving the public's interest, the media ended up being a way to maintain the power of the authoritarian regime.



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